HC Deb 01 December 1964 vol 703 cc210-1
5 and 6. Mr. van Straubenzee

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations (1) what representations he has made to the Government of Ceylon about the imposition of a special export tax of 10 cents per pound on all teas shipped from Ceylon for sale in the London auctions, on a special wealth tax of 10 per cent, on the profits of all sterling companies, and the acreage tax of Rs.300 per acre for high grown estates in lieu of the ad valorem duty;

(2) what representations he has made to the Government of Ceylon on that Government's new exchange control regulations prohibiting the payment of dividends to sterling companies for at least 12 months from 31st July, 1964.

Mr. Bottomley

I have made representations to the Ceylon Finance Minister about all those measures in the Ceylon Budget which have an adverse effect on British interests and individuals, including those mentioned by the hon. Member.

Mr. van Straubenzee

I am grateful for the representations mentioned by the right hon. Gentleman, but is he aware of the considerable hardship being caused to individuals in this country particularly by the operation of the exchange control regulations mentioned in Question No. 6? Would he feel it proper to represent not only this hardship but also the very discouraging effect of these budgetary measures upon further investment in Ceylon?

Mr. Bottomley

The Ceylon Government have undertaken to consider these hardship cases. As regards the second part of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question, I think that we ought to wait and see what happens as a result of the return of the Ceylon Finance Minister.

Mr. Dodds-Parker

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the growing public unwillingness to provide aid to these Governments which seem bent on destroying existing productive industry, and will he bring this to the attention of the Ceylon Government?

Mr. Bottomley

I have nothing to add to what I have already said on this matter.

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